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San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald Styn Retires

Apr 16, 2021
Judge Styn Retirement

The Honorable Ronald L. Styn will conclude more than 20 years on the San Diego Superior Court bench on Friday, April 16, 2021. Judge Styn, a native San Diegan and graduate of Chula Vista High School, earned a B.A. from the University of Redlands before going on to earn his law degree from Stanford Law School.

Prior to his appointment to the San Diego Superior Court bench in 2000, Judge Styn was active in private practice for over 30 years. His legal career began as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge James M. Carter before serving as a trial attorney for the Department of Health, Education & Welfare, Food & Drug Division. He was an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law for two years before returning to San Diego to enter private practice.

From continuing to teach in adjunct professor positions at local law schools to being a panelist on numerous Continuing Education of the Bar programs, Judge Styn’s passion for learning brought him into several instructor roles to impart his knowledge to others. Among his peers, he has taught several courses to judges both locally and statewide.

“I have loved being a judge. Even though I graduated from law school over 50 years ago and have been a judge for 21 years, I have been constantly learning. After 30 years of civil litigation, my first court assignment was to a criminal trial department where I learned something new every day,” said Judge Styn. “For the past 18 years, I have been in a civil independent calendar department handling a wide variety of civil cases, including all of the construction defect cases in San Diego County. I am able to handle a caseload of around 1,000 cases thanks to a loyal and dedicated court clerk, calendar clerk, and research attorney.”

Of the thousands of cases Judge Styn has presided over, one of the most notable cases is his 2001 ruling that San Diego’s red light cameras were operating illegally.

“Our bench and all of the litigants who have appeared before Judge Styn have benefitted from his legal knowledge, high level of preparation, and pleasant demeanor,” said San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne. “Judge Styn is a legal scholar and, in particular, his knowledge of construction defect law will be missed on our court.”

Judge Styn is a founding member of the Board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and served as the organization’s president in 1998. He also is one of the original masters of the Welsh Inn of the American Inns of Court and served as the chapter’s president from 2002-2007. Judge Styn’s demeanor was acknowledged with the Judicial Civility Award from the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Theater pursuits hold a special interest for Judge Styn. He was a member of the boards of directors for Blackfriars Theatre (formerly Bowery Theater) and for the Playwrights Project. He was bestowed with the Star Award from the San Diego Theatre Guild in 1994. During summer breaks from college, Judge Styn was a conductor on the train at Disneyland.

In his retirement, Judge Styn plans to tend to his vegetable garden, travel, and spend time at the beach where he enjoys body surfing when the conditions are right.